Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc. may not have that many staff relative to Morgan Stanley as a whole, but on average the people who work there are very, very generously paid.
Newly released accounts for Morgan Stanley International, the business running investment banking, sales and trading and some operations for Morgan Stanley in London, show that average compensation per head increased by 15% in the year ending December 2021. Average pay for each of the company's 2,161 employees last year was $622k as a result.
In the notes accompanying the accounts, Morgan Stanley attributed the rise in compensation spending to higher mark-to-market spending on deferred equity compensation following the increase in Morgan Stanley's share price. It said higher headcount and the strengthening of the British pound against the U.S. dollar also paid a role. Morgan Stanley's share price rose 32% last year and the pound strengthened nearly 8% against the dollar by mid-year before falling back and ending the year where it started.
Headcount at Morgan Stanley's London office shifted slightly in 2021. - The bank began the year with 2,090 people and ended with 2,161, of whom 70 people were added in front office sales and trading and investment banking jobs and only one was added to support services. This 3% increase in overall headcount was eclipsed by a 37% increase in investment banking revenues, a 12% increase in sales and trading revenues, and a 39% increase in profits.
Morgan Stanley may pay a lot to its average London employee, but it still doesn't pay as much as Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs International, the London branch of Goldman Sachs, paid its average employee $725k after social security contributions last year. Like Morgan Stanley's, Goldman's London office is unusually skewed towards high-earning front office staff.
The recent salary and bonus survey from search firm Dartmouth partners says Morgan Stanley's London investment banking associates earn salaries of around £140k plus bonuses of around £154k. At junior vice president level, Dartmouth said Morgan Stanley's VPs appeared to be some of the worst paid in the industry. Average total compensation (salary plus bonus) for a VP1 last year at the bank in London was £308k.
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